Kenya in mourning over Westgate attack

Three days of national mourning as Nairobi siege ends

Kenya begins three days of national mourning on 25 September following the end of the four-day siege by Somali-based Islamist militants on Nairobi's Westgate shopping centre.

As the first day of national mourning began, gunshots could still be heard at the mall, although the government put this down to Kenyan forces firing protectively as they moved around the building, without encountering anyone.
In a televised address on 24 September Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta declared the siege over, saying "We have ashamed and defeated our attackers."

Kenyatta said that 67 people had died in the attack, among them six members of the security forces. He said five militants had been killed and 11 other suspects taken into custody.
However al Shabaab, the terrorist group behind the attack, accused the Kenyan government assault team of demolishing the building, burying 137 hostages in rubble. Three floors of the building collapsed following an explosion on 24 September.

The number of casualties is expected to rise once authorities clear away the rubble. Among the dead are at least 18 foreigners, including six from Britain, and others from France, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, Peru, India, Ghana, South Africa and China. About 175 people were wounded, with more than 60 still in hospital.
Kenyatta acknowledged that US or British citizens may have been among the attackers but said that evidence was still being gathered.

Forensic experts from the US, Britain and Israel will be assisting Kenya in its investigation of the attack, according to the Kenyan government.

Separately, the International Criminal Court (ICC) declared its willingness to work with Kenyan and international authorities to ensure that the Westgate attackers are “brought to justice.” The offer came despite Kenya's decision to withdraw from the ICC in the wake of the court’s decision to try Kenyatta and his deputy president William Ruto for alleged crimes against humanity.

Ruto was excused temporarily from the Hague-based court on 23 September to allow him to return to Kenya to deal with the Westgate crisis.

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